China Tourism Academy, Ctrip and Huayuan International Travel have jointly released the 2018 Travel Trend of Europe-bound Chinese Tourists (Q1), providing insights into the European travel market and Chinese travelers.
The report makes use of online booking data from 300 million users and sales data of over 7,000 Ctrip offline stores, along with outbound tourism information provided by tour operator Huayuan International Travel.
In the first quarter of 2018, the number of Chinese tourists bound for Europe increased by 35% year-on-year. With a 9% share of the total outbound tourist traffic of China, Europe became the second-most popular destination for Chinese tourists, second only to Asia, according to the data released by Ctrip.
Group tourists accounted for 70% of the traffic to Europe, while independent and personalized travel experiences made up the rest.
Ctrip Customized Travel recorded a 130% YoY increase in bookings for customized tours in Europe, a higher growth rate than that of other outbound markets. Huayuan International Travel witnessed a growing number of customers through its online booking channels.
Around 26% of Europe-bound trips were booked through OTA channels and 74% through high-street stores.
About 60.4% of the travelers were female, while the majority of travelers were of an older age, with 25.6% aged 50-60, while 18.9% of travelers were in their 20s, and 18.1% in their 40s.
The average spending for Chinese tourists traveling in a group in Europe was about RMB 9,800. It was lower than the year before partly due to more China-Europe flights nudging down airfare.
Relaxing travel products topped the list of travel products booked on Ctrip with a proportion of 44.8%, followed by budget travel products at 43.77%. Luxury travel products demand increased by 39.2%, the highest growth rate, to comprise 11.2% of the total demand.
The top 10 European destination countries were France, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain, and Portugal, according to data from Ctrip and Huayuan International Travel.
Russia, the Czech Republic and Hungary witnessed the largest increase in visitor arrivals. Among them, the number of tourists to Russia has soared thanks to favorable political ties and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On the other hand, Ctrip’s European visas sales indicate that the most frequented European destination countries in the first quarter of 2018 were the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Greece.
The top 10 emerging destinations for Chinese tourists, as identified in the report, are Ireland, Croatia, Russia, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Albania, Ukraine, Montenegro and the Czech Republic.